Given time, polish and a great deal of self-restraint, Chip Kelly could be a legend of the lectern.
Or, if he submits to his baser instincts, he could alienate the public and the press, like his predecessors.
Kelly was, for the most part, earnest and forthcoming. He repeatedly stressed that he sought energetic, progressive thinkers unafraid to offer or receive criticisms, and that he did not care that it took more than 3 weeks to compile this ratatouille of a coaching staff.
"I wanted a diverse group. We all come from different backgrounds," Kelly said. "I wanted people with different opinions. Different experiences . . . I want to be challenged . . . We all think alike . . . If we can't learn from each other, then, shame on us . . . No one really has an ego."
That said, Kelly offered no insight into how this group of humble and varied minds will exploit the talents of, say, Michael Vick, whose contract was restructured to assure him a spot on the roster.
Kelly did not commit on whether defensive ends Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will be using their pass-rushing skills in a three-lineman, four-linebacker alignment, or in a 4-3 . . .
"Or a 5-2. Or a 6-1," Kelly said.
Which, admittedly, was funny.
Uninformative, but funny.
The distilled product from the press meeting with Kelly for 30 minutes, then with his offensive and defensive coaches for 45 minutes each, was this:
The coaches share an obsession for efficiency, from 69-year-old holdover Ted Williams, the tight-ends coach, to hyper-confident, 28-year-old Matt Harper, the assistant special-teams coach. Efficiency will be key, considering Kelly's notoriously taxing practices and his frenetic pace of calling games.
As for who will call the games, Kelly or offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, Kelly replied:
"I'll call all the good plays. Pat will call all the bad."
Again, funny. Again, worthless.
He met with Shurmur for 2 days, here in Philadelphia. Surely, that subject was decided. As surely, Kelly would not divulge the decision.
Nor would he divulge exactly what he and Shurmur will be calling. The spread option Kelly ran in Oregon looks to be a suicide scheme for quarterbacks, but Kelly would not be boxed into any firm description.
"I don't think what we do offensively can be said in just one or two words," Kelly said.
Or, in his case Monday, in any words.
Kelly might be planning to have LeSean McCoy carried around left tackle on a palanquin by a fullback and two small elephants, as long as it doesn't take more than his prescribed 21 seconds per play. Maybe Kelly doesn't know his offense's capacities because he really does not know his staff's abilities.
The alarming dearth of NFL experience of most of Kelly's coaches is not offset by the amount of NFL experience a few of them have. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis has 21 years of NFL experience (none as a particularly successful coordinator); Williams, 18 years; Shurmur, 14.
As for the rest of the staff, 13 coaches have virtually no NFL experience.
That includes Kelly, and all five lieutenants he brought with him from Oregon.
To his credit, Kelly insisted that he will seek Williams' wisdom and will tap Shurmur's battle experience.
Kelly also said that Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, one of the better linemen in franchise history, would be welcome to fight for his starting spot when Peters returns from injury.
You would hope.
Kelly's dry New England wit and his harsh New England witticisms became a national phenomenon in his entertaining, if infrequent, jousts with national media. Monday he made a conscious effort to curb his cynicism.
He cautioned a questioner that all things written might not be true; but, in this case, the written matter was a coaching essay by Kelly himself. He icily voiced his aversion to hypothetical scenarios.
And, at times, Kelly was downright evasive. Hiring an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach clearly indicates Kelly's intention of running a 3-4 scheme, which might force the Eagles to make more roster moves than is typical of an NFL team in an offseason. Right?
"I just got here. I don't know what's typical of an NFL team," Kelly said, a little snark seeping out.
He did not address having two linebacker coaches.
He did address the decision of keeping Vick, at least for the time being. He praised Vick's snakebite release, his arm strength and his athleticism, and noted that the other quarterback options available at a reasonable cost are inferior to Vick.
Kelly refused to address the difficulty in reteaching Vick to play the position at the age of 33.
Good luck with that.
As for the team's problem children, Kelly and his staff were unwilling to divulge if receiver DeSean Jackson would return kicks this season; or if twit-iot running back LeSean McCoy would be contractually compelled to abandon social media in the wake of his obscene tweet-off with a woman who mothered a child by him.
Kelly said he spoke with McCoy, but did not say if he admonished him. Or encouraged him.
Shurmur, who was given his first NFL job by Reid in 1999 and stayed through 2008, said he, too, sees similarities between Kelly and Reid; that Kelly, like Reid, respects efficiency and crispness.
Reid might have struggled onstage, but he won a lot of games.
For Kelly's sake, hope those similarities remain.
For Kelly's sake, hope the malice and the misdirection do not.